Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jammy Thumbprint Cookies

My boyfriend John comes from a huge family, with eight children to be exact.  Along with sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, he has six brothers.  Yes, you heard correctly.  Six.  Brothers.  I spent this past weekend at the home of his brother Dan and Dan's wife Nicole.  Dan and Nicole are one of my favorite couples on earth, and we always have a blast with them, in large part because Dan's such a ball-buster.  Case in point:  a few weeks before Christmas, Nicole, sister Jill and I had a cookie-baking day.  We made chocolate cookies, peppermint bark, chocolate-dipped pretzels, biscochitos, and peanut butter thumbprints while John and Dan spent the day drinking beer at a San Diego Chargers' game.  When the boys were dropped off after the game they were a tad... dehydrated.  We thought we'd impress them with our prolific cookie bounty, but Dan took one look around the kitchen and asked, "where are the fruit-filled cookies?".  Sigh.  I guess you can't win 'em all. 

So Dan's birthday is around the corner, and since he's always a great host to us (I'll share his margarita recipe this summer), I thought I'd finally get around to those fruit-filled thumbprint cookies he requested so many months ago.  This is a Martha Stewart recipe, and the ingredient list is blissfully short.
B+C technical note:  My laptop is on the fritz, and it's currently in the very capable hands of a nice man named Eddie who didn't bat an eye when I explained that my pushy pug knocked it onto the tile floor.  That said, my photo editing software is unavailable today, and you all are about to see what a hack photographer I am without the smoke and mirrors of Lightroom.  Sorry about the wonky color and exposure, things will be pretty again in a few days.

Ok, back to the cookies.  Cream some butter and sugar.

In another bowl, measure some salt and flour.

Throw an egg in with the butter and sugar.

And chop a big handful of pecans.

When the egg is incorporated, stir in the flour and pecans.  I added nuts for a little crunch and flavor variety, but if pecans aren't your thing, feel free to leave them out.

Now it's best if you can chill your dough in the fridge for a bit, but if it's cool and will hold a ball shape, you can get started right away.  Roll little scoops of dough into balls.
And use your thumb to make a divot in the center of each dough ball.

Now fill each divot with the jam of your choice.  Jam sidenote:  I bought mine at a little Amish store in Missouri.  My uncle Bubby swears that he saw an Amish man in Sam's Club with a cart full of Smuckers, and that the jam isn't really made from local fruit.  I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if there's ever a midwestern jam sting, now you know that my uncle was onto something.

The cookies bake up in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes.  Let them cool completely on a baking rack.  Don't the jelly dots look like little jewels?

Yum!  Delicious and easy, can't beat that!
Jammy Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
Pinch of salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup jam (any type- I used peach and blackberry)
1/2 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth.  Add egg, and beat until completely combined.  With mixer on low, add flour and salt, and mix just until incorporated.  Fold in chopped pecans.

Let dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls (about 2 tablespoons each).  Place on baking sheets, at least 3 inches apart.

Moisten thumb with water, and gently press the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1/2 inch wide and inch deep.  In a microwave or on the stove, heat jam until liquified; spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation.  Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 18-20 minutes (check them early, mine were ready after 15 minutes).  Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.  If storing, place in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.


  1. somehow fruit and cookies are only good together in this recipe! I love it, anne


  2. love thumbprint cookies! hope he likes them!!

  3. dan loved those jammy thumbs and sends his gratitude! i'm trying to figure out what to send back to you in that tupperware. considering trying david lebovitz's salt caramel recipe. caramels take 2!


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